US 'ready to improve Myanmar ties'

Envoy says military rulers must take conctrete steps towards restoring democracy.

    Campbell called on Myanmar's ruling generals to respect the human rights of their people [AFP]

    Speaking at the airport in the former capital of Yangon, Campbell said the US "reaffirmed our commitment to a dialogue among the government, the opposition and ethnic groups."

    The goal of such a dialogue, he added, "would be national reconciliation and a fully inclusive political process in Burma".

    'First step'

    Later, speaking to reporters after his arrival in Tokyo, he said his visit to Myanmar was a "first step" in improving relations with Myanmar's military rulers.

    Aung San Suu Kyi welcomed renewed US engagement with Myanmar [AFP]
    Campbell and his deputy, Scot Marciel, are the highest-ranking American diplomats to visit Myanmar, also known as Burma, since 1995, when Madeleine Albright, the then-UN ambassador, made an official visit.

    Details of Campbell's talks with Aung San Suu Kyi were not revealed, but the meeting offered the Nobel laureate her first trip in years outside the confines of her home and a nearby government guesthouse, where she has met UN and government officials in the past.

    The 64-year-old has been detained for 14 of the past 20 years, mostly under house arrest and for shorter periods at the Insein prison in Yangon.

    Aung San Suu Kyi also welcomed new US moves to engage with Myanmar's military government.

    In late September she wrote a letter to Myanmar's top ruler, Senior General Than Shwe, to offer her co-operation in getting Western sanctions lifted after years of backing harsh measures against the ruling generals.

    The generals granted the Nobel peace laureate two rare meetings with a government minister and allowed her to meet Western diplomats last month.

    Thein Sein, Myanmar's prime minister, told Asian leaders at a summit in Thailand last month that the government sees a role for Aung San Suu Kyi in fostering reconciliation ahead of the promised elections next year, but it was not clear what form this would take.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.